5 Smart Home Gadgets We’re Excited About From CES

CES Gadgets

The International Consumer Electronics Show of 2015 proved that wearables and connectable home electronics are what people truly get excited about. While there were some high end electronic appliances at the show, most of them lacked connectivity to other devices. People want to be able to control other devices and appliances with their Smartphones. The concept of everything being “smart” related is something that tech companies better get used to or else they will be missing out on a huge consumer base. One of the biggest electronics categories that did well was home theater and security technology because they both offered connectivity features.

The Hom Bot Vacuum by LG certainly made an impression at the show. This computerized vacuum remotely cleans up dust and debris from your floor. It has two front facing cameras which can be viewed through your Smartphone. So not only does it act as a cleaner, but it can be used for surveillance as well because it moves on its own.

The Motorola Hubble Smart66 is another security piece of technology that is meant for baby monitoring and watching your kids at nighttime. Not only that, but it can give you scientific data as to how well your baby sleeps. It records their rate of movement during the night and throughout their naps. This gives caretakers the ability to know how much sleep their child has actually gotten and if they should be put down for another nap.

Belkin has increased their WeMo product line to over 25 new appliances and products. If you don’t know what WeMo is, they connect the user’s Smartphone to cloud based applications that give them the ability to control home appliances through their Wi-Fi connection. These appliance brands include Crock Pot, Mr. Coffee and Holmes. Imagine driving home from work and setting your Mr. Coffee to brew you a new cup right before you get into the door. The very idea alone has people very excited.

Okidokeys is a new form of smart locking where a user can lock and unlock their door by using an app on their Smartphone. However, with Okidokeys you don’t have to replace your existing lock because it connects right over the lock on the side portion of your door. And besides using your phone to unlock the door, you can also use key fobs as well. All you have to do is commit to purchasing a Wi-Fi gateway device so you can successfully connect to Okidokeys through a Wi-Fi connection.

Finally, Staples Connect was introduced by Zonoff at the CES. It connects multiple devices together through a special hub device. Users won’t even have to check if their devices are compatible because the Staples Connect app lets you choose and purchase compatible devices by their type. The various types include lights, thermostats, wristbands, speakers and locks.

CES Gadgets

What It’s Like To Use HP’s Crazy New Computer That Can Scan 3-D Objects In Seconds (HP)

3D Scanner

People have said for awhile now that personal computers are on the verge of extinction. Ever since the growing popularity of tablets and smartphones, fewer people have been buying PC products. Mobile computing truly looks to be the future of computer technology. However, this has not stopped tech companies from improving the technology in desktops. In fact, Hewlett Packard’s newest computer “Sprout” is said to be a different type of PC than other desktops. With the help of a giant touchpad mat and a 3D projector, the HP Sprout can actually scan objects that are placed in front of the projector. Then it will turn the scan into a 3D model on the computer.

HP Sprout is like a reverse 3D printer. Instead of taking 3d models and printing them into 3d objects, the Sprout takes 3d objects and turns them into 3d models. This might not seem like a big deal, but the potential use of this kind of technology is unlimited. Not only can it scan physical objections, but also sketches, pictures and photographs as well. Imagine video game designers being able to draw a picture of a character and then being able to turn that character into a 3d model. That way they don’t have to take modeling courses and become an expert on how to build a computer model from scratch. Architects will also benefit from this for sure. They can take their sketches and turn them into an entire 3d model layout right on the computer. This will save companies lots of time and money from having to build these models from scratch.

Before you get too excited, this technology is still in the early stages. There have been bugs and crashes reported on occasion during the 3d scanning. You also have to consider the high price tag of about $1,900 when it finally hits the consumer marketplace. For the common layperson, they probably won’t want to spend that much money on a desktop computer that can scan objects. However, you can surely expect businesses and especially architectural firms to want to get their hands on these computers. The bugs and quirks will still have to be fixed before anything is made definitely. But you should keep checking the news on the HP website to stay informed on the progress of their latest innovations. One day you will surely see more news about Sprout taking off.

HTC Android

LEAKED: Here’s What HTC’s New Android Phone Will Probably Look Like

HTC Android

The new HTC Android Phone is expected to be unveiled around the beginning of March. However there are already leaked photos of this newest HTC phone, which are courtesy of Nowhereelse.fr. This is a popular tech blog website in France that has a huge reputation for releasing images of Smartphones before they are officially introduced. Nowhereelse.fr just released their latest photos of the newest HTC One and it surprisingly looks the same on the front as the HTC One M8, which is the current model. From the metal design and silver color of the body to the dual speakers, everything about the new model looks like the M8.

There are some differences between the two HTC One phones that are noticeable in the photos. For one thing, the camera on the back of the new phone looks a lot larger than the camera on the back of the M8. This bigger camera is a 20 MP camera, which contains more megapixels than any of the other high end phones that only have up to 16 MP. The only exception to this is the Nokia Lumia and Sony Xperia because they have always been known for their camera technology in Smartphones. Aside from the camera improvements, the new HTC One may contain sharper image quality on its 5.2 inch screen. The resolution is said to be 2560 x 1440. Of course, it is hard to tell this from the few leaked images that have been released. Smartphone fans are hoping to learn more about the phone when HTC officially announces it in early March. Until then, people just have to continue speculating on what it could possibly be.

Do you think people will really want to purchase the newest HTC One? There are so many Smartphones on the market and consumer interest still seems directed towards Apple iPhones. It is unlikely that a higher resolution camera is going to entice people into purchasing the phone. However, if history has proven anything it is that tech enthusiasts love to get their hands on the latest gadgets because they want the joy of being able to say they were the first ones to try it out. If that is you then you should pay attention in March and see what HTC has to say about their HTC One. It may have additional features that have not been mentioned yet. Only time will tell.

 

Microsoft May Be Working On a Strange New Gadget That’s a Mix Between A Smartphone And A Laptop (MSFT)

Microsoft Hybrid

There are all kinds of mobile devices in the marketplace. We have already seen hybrids come out that merge tablets with laptops. But, have you ever seen Smartphones mixed with laptops? Microsoft is possibly working on a new hybrid that will mix the features of a Smartphone with the features of a laptop. Right now, Microsoft isn’t saying much about their newest hardware innovation. Instead they continue to talk about their next version of Windows, which is Windows 10. What people are wondering though is which hardware systems are Windows 10 going to be introduced on. From the rumors, it is expected that Windows 10 will be introduced on this newest hybrid device that may currently be in the works by Microsoft.

The description of the new hybrid basically states that you will be able to plug in your Smartphone into a shell attached to the screen of the laptop. It sounds similar to the Asus Transformer Book V, which contains a docking area for your Smartphone on the back of the lid. This allows users to run Windows and Android operating systems at the same time. No one knows if Microsoft’s device will be just like this or if they have their own branded device. Perhaps, they will be working with multiple partners in order to build it. But no matter who they are working with, it is bound to have Windows 10 on it. When Microsoft introduced their Windows 10 back in September, they stressed that it would have a similar interface on all kinds of screens. This means that desktops, laptops and tablets will all be able to have the same style interface, which means that a new hybrid can have one operating system.

Microsoft’s entire plan revolves around linking traditional desktops and laptops with Smartphone devices. Since most people use both kinds of technology, it only makes sense that they should connect to each other. This will make exchanging data between various computers much faster and more convenient. As for the fans of Microsoft, they still exist and are always curious about what their next project will be. However, many Microsoft fans were disappointed with Windows 8 and it made them more distant from their technology. Microsoft will really need to impress people with new hardware and software if they are going to win back people’s trust again. If they don’t then it will only help their biggest competitor, Apple, become more successful in the long run.

Playstation at 20

PlayStation at 20: how Sony’s console has grown up with its players

 

Playstation at 20Sony PlayStation became 20 years old in late 2014. For many gamers, it seems like only

yesterday that the original Sony PlayStation hit the shelves of their favorite toy store. Its ability

to play 3d games completely revolutionized the industry. The only 3d competitors at the time

were the Sega CD and Nintendo 64, which did have their own place in 3d history even though

their games lacked certainly qualities that Sony got right. The PlayStation had smooth 3d

graphics that were fast paced and much more interactive. Then as time went on, PlayStation kept

developing new consoles with improved graphics, sound and DVD playback capabilities. The

most recent system is PlayStation 4, which has sold more systems than even Sony expected. So it

is safe to say that consumers are still interested in Sony Playstation systems.

The big question that gamers often wonder about Sony Playstation is, “What more can be

done to further enhance the system when PlayStation 5 comes around?” The graphics of the

PlayStation 4 are so realistic looking that it is hard to imagine them getting any better. Plus the

PS4 has digital downloads now, so people don’t even have to purchase the physical disks

anymore. So, what next? Well there are rumors that Sony is taking an interest in virtual reality

technology. We have already seen some positive reviews for Oculus Rift, which is a virtual

reality headset that lets you game inside a 3d world. Sony may be contemplating whether or not

to switch from a gaming console to a set of 3d goggles. The only thing is virtual reality games

have to be built from scratch. You wouldn’t be able to transfer older PlayStation games onto a

virtual reality system like you can with the later PlayStation console models.

The only thing that can go wrong with 3d goggles is the sickness. People who use 3d

headsets for extended periods of time can easily feel disoriented or nauseous, especially when

they take the goggles off their head. Sony wouldn’t want to lose their millions of loyal customers

by creating a product they are going to be sick from. So there are a lot of bugs and quirks that

have to be worked out in the goggles before they become main stream for gaming. But in another

20 years, we may very well be seeing goggles as the main type of console. Either that or it will

already have become irrelevant by that time.

Photos of Apple’s Next MacBook Air Might Have Just Leaked (AAPL)

Macbook Air

The Apple Corporation is always working hard to develop new models for their mobile devices. Their latest project is the new version of the 12-inch MacBook Air, which is scheduled to be released around the later part of 2015. Usually people have to wait for trade shows before new devices like this are seen for the first time, but there are now leaked photos of it circulating on the internet. The images do not show much, but the little bit of what they do show still has people talking and gossiping about all kinds of rumors.

iFanr, which is a Chinese blog website, contains several leaked images of the new MacBook Air. The pictures only show the lid of the device with the Apple logo on it. The lid was placed next to the iPad Air 2 and the current version of MacBook Air, which is 13 inches. On the lid, the Apple logo appears to look different than the current MacBook Air. Instead it resembles the glossy Apple logo on the iPad Air. Of course, there are rumors that Apple will eventually change the logo on all their laptops in the future because they want it to match the iPad logo design. Therefore, all of the speculation about the leaked pictures being phony might actually be wrong.

Fans of Apple are always hopeful that any news about future products of theirs is legitimate, even if they are just photos of a lid. Critics believe if Apple does go ahead and unveil the newest MacBook Air later in the year, then it will include the same kind of Retina display found on Apple’s iPads, iPhones and MacBook Pros. However, the bezels will be thinner to accommodate the bigger screen. In fact it will be a lot thinner than any of the other Apple models. Some reports indicate that Apple will have to remove the plug-in ports in order to make the device thinner. Whether this will actually happen or not is tough to say. If the ports are removed then it will make it difficult for users to attach any of their other peripheral devices such as printers, scanners, and keyboards.

The anticipation of Apple’s unveilings is always very high. Apple products are the king of mobile technology in our world. So if you have doubts about any future unveilings, then don’t because Apple is one of the hardest working tech companies out there. You can be sure they will unveil some kind of device in the near future.

Engadget Giveaway: Win an AIRA TR-8 Rhythm Performer Courtesy of Roland!

AIRA TR-8

The Roland Corporation is one of the leading distributors and manufacturers of electronic music equipment, such as synthesizers, keyboards, guitars and more. They did something very generous recently by giving away a free AIRA TR-8 Rhythm Performer that was designed by their company. The contest to win this rhythm performer was eligible to all readers of Engadget, which is a blog website that features news about the latest consumer electronics and gadgets. People who signed up for the contest were able to do so for free by using the Rafflecopter widget that was featured in an Engadget article. The only restrictions for the participating readers were that they had to be from either one of the 50 states of America, the District of Columbia or Canada. They also had to be 18 years of age or older. Entrants had up to three chances to win this amazing piece of music technology and all winners were chosen at random. The winners were notified by email and had three days to respond to the email. If they didn’t respond then another winner would be chosen in their place. In the end, the winner of the contest was Deepak R. from Folsom, California. There were a total of 8,240 entrees into the contest, so the odds were still pretty high for everyone.

The Rhythm Performer is great for any layperson who has always dreamed of being their own producer and who wants the best music technology to build their beats. For those who are familiar with Roland’s past models, the TR-909 and TR-808 were very popular drum machines that created realistic sounds in which musicians of all skill levels could use. Now these two models have been merged together to form the newer TR-8 model. It features a complete recreation of all the classic drum beats and sounds. For all those who are fans of 80s acid house sounds, then you should get Roland’s other famous rhythm performer called TB-303. If you are good at hooking up rhythm performers together then you could merge various styles of beats from these performers to create your own original work of art. Best of all, you can claim it as your own work and make a name for yourself by producing your own music.

Roland occasionally has promotional giveaways, especially when they have an exciting new product that they want to introduce to the public. Roland has always been a recognizable name in the music technology industry and will continue to be for years to come. So even if you don’t win anything from them, you should still consider investing in their wonderful music technology.

 

Apple Watch will give everyone a super-intelligent fitness coach

4 Apple Watch

For all those people who make excuses about how they don’t have the motivation to lose weight, now they will have motivation with the new Apple Watch. This smartwatch technology contains a personal fitness coach with super intelligence right inside the watch. The coach will send you motivation messages to inspire you to get off the coach and start exercising. Then while you are doing your exercises, like walking and jogging, it will tell you the intensity of the exercise and how well you are doing them. If it detects that your form is off or that you aren’t going fast enough, it will give you suggestions on how you can improve your workout. The new Apple Watch will be like having your own personal trainer strapped to your wrist all day. Then you will never have to hire an expensive personal trainer by the hour ever again. Instead, just make a onetime purchase of the watch and you will get a trainer for life.

 

There are plenty of smartwatches on the market that keep track of things like heart rate, distance traveled, time elapsed and so on. The Apple Watch will blow these out of the water. It will push you to the edge during your workouts by having a voice prompt you to get more reps in and work harder. It is like having your own workout partner that is giving you inspiration. Plus, the watch will be able to connect to the internet and download various exercise routines. Then when you go to perform these exercises, it will track your form on those as well and tell you if you’re doing them wrong. It will also count how many sets and repetitions you have done of a particular exercise. That way you don’t have to keep writing it down on a chart or piece of paper like a lot of people do in the gym.

Apple has not released too much information about the watch such as its release date and cost. They are likely still trying to build up enough anticipation for the device. After all, smartwatches are not the biggest selling pieces of smart technology. Since there is already competition on the market for smartwatches, Apple may be waiting to dominate the marketplace with all of the new advanced features of their Apple Watch. By the sounds of what it can do, it is very likely that it may just become a top selling product during the time of its release.

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